strange how you sometimes get the best advice from the most unusual
The other day I met a young man who was a former student of mine. He told
me a story about the birth of his daughter that touched my heart.
baby was born with a minor problem that caused enough concern for the doctor
to order a test the next morning. The situation was causing everyone concern as
they talked endlessly about what the problem could be
and expressed their worse fears about what might be wrong with the tiny
little girl. When one of the senior nurses on duty came into the room they
began asking her a lot of questions to see if she could provide us with
any further information on the possibilities.
It was then that this
very wise nurse turned to the parents and gave them the
most important advice they may ever receive.
“We won’t know anything until the doctor does the test in the morning. At that time, if there is anything wrong, you will deal
with it in the best way you can. Until then, there is no use in spending
time worrying because there is absolutely nothing you can do about it
right now. After the test you will deal with it and if you have to make
any decisions that will be the time to give it your attention. Right now,
just look at your daughter. It’s the first day of the rest of her life,
and it is the first day of the rest of your life. Enjoy it for all it is
As it turned out, the
test results showed that there was absolutely nothing to worry about and that
everything was perfectly fine with the baby. But the advice given to those
young parents by the nurse the evening
before was absolutely precious and is a philosophy of life that everyone
We all spend so much of
our life worrying about things we cannot control.
This results in undue stress and concern which in turn prevents us
from enjoying what is actually going on in our life at the moment.
How many of you can
remember worrying about something terrible happening only to be relieved
later when it turned out to be far less dreadful in the end? Whether it is
putting off an embarrassing medical test because you are afraid to find
out that you might have some terrible disease; dreading an exam because
you are afraid of failing; putting off bringing your car in for repairs
because you think it might be something major; avoiding a meeting with a
supervisory officer or manager; regardless of what it is that causes us
worry, we often discover that we really had nothing to worry about in the
first place. And when it turns out that there is a problem we simply
“deal with it at the time” and our life goes on pretty much
uninterrupted. In many cases, once we deal with the problem our life is
actually much better than it was before.
philosophy of life doesn’t mean that you don’t do what you can to
prepare for the future. For example, because of the amount of snow we have
on the ground, there is likely to be flooding in the area. So you should
at least make sure that your sump pump is working properly in order to be
ready if there is flooding. But once you do that bit of preparation, there
is not much you can do until flooding occurs and then you “deal with
it”. I could provide hundreds of similar examples of how we can do our
best to prepare for the future and then we just have to sit back and let
nature takes its course.
Imagine what a
wonderful world this would be if we all just do what we can to prepare for
the future and then take time to enjoy the present.